5/4's Top 5 Reasons To Register Your Songs

1. Registration provides the best proof on earth that you are the owner of the song, as of (date the registration is received)

2. If you don't register it and some thief does . . . the thief now has the best proof on earth that the song is his!

3. Registration is a requirement for filing a copyright infringement lawsuit.

4. TIMELY registration (before any infringement) qualifies you for additional monetary awards (statutory damages, actual damages, attorney costs, court costs,etc.)

Note: UNTIMELY registration (after your song has been stolen) qualifies you only for the “actual money damages” you can prove -- a very expensive process involving auditors and investigators. You no longer get the $150,000 award, and you no longer get your legal fees and court costs paid. Even if you win the case, by the time you pay your lawyer, auditors and investigators you may not get a dime!

5. If someone wants to record your song, they owe you mechanical royalties . . . if the song is registered. However . . .

"The licensee does not have to pay if there is no record of copyright registration filed at the Library of Congress."

— John Braheny, The Craft and Business of Songwriting.

Most Major Labels Laid Out Plain and Simple and What to Do...

This information is paraphrased from many different Music Business books. They may

each present it in slightly different ways, but the bottom line is always the same.

Here is a typical royalty calculation on a $14.98 CD where the artist’s base royalty is 12%:

12% of $14.98 = $1.80 on each CD. Sales of 1 million earns $1,800,000! Not Bad right?

But wait . . . there are a few DEDUCTIONS.

12% minus 3% (Producer’s Royalty) . . . adjusted royalty = 9%

9% times .75 (25% reduction for PACKAGING) = 6.75%

6.75% times .85 (15% reduction for “FREE GOODS”) = 5.74%

5.74% times .80 (20% reduction: “NEW TECHNOLOGY”) = 4.59%

4.59% times .65 (35% reduction for “RESERVES”) = 2.98%


2.98% of $14.98 = 44.7¢ per CD . . . . Times 1 million = $447,000!

There is only one little problem . . .

On a typical major label deal, your recoupables are $500,000.

So, after selling one million CDs, you are $53,000 in debt!!!



Disclaimer: If this seems confusing, it’s supposed to be!

Record Stores can return about 20% of their stock to the label for a Return Credit of about $10 each record. That’s a lot more than they can make on a normal sale! So there’s a big incentive to return records. The artist does not make any royalties on Returned Records.

But George, the label doesn’t make any money on the deal either, right?


They DO make money! Here’s how:

1. Label SELLS Returned Records to One Stops @ $2 each. One stops can return a portion of the records to the label for $10 Credit each!

2. One Stops sell “returns” to Mom & Pop stores for about $4 each. Mom & Pop stores can return records to One Stops, who return them to labels.

3. Big Chain stores can return loads of records to label ($10 credit).

4. A label can sell these new “returns” to Rack Jobbers @ $2 each. (Rack jobbers can’t return records to labels . . . But they can return them to One Stops.)

5. Rack Jobbers sell “returns” to One Stops @ $4 each.

6. One Stops return records (again) to labels for $10 Credit.

7. Label sells “Returned Returns” AGAIN to Rack Jobbers. ($2 more bucks)

8. This “Game” can go around 3 or 4 times. The label makes mucho bread.

9. Each credit is a commitment by One Stops and stores to buy new records from the label!

10. The label can treat all of these credits (receivables) as cash to run their business - interest-free.

11. The Artist never gets a single penny of Royalties on any of these transactions!!

Well, what about these Indie Labels I have been hearing so much about George? 

 Glad you asked!

What’s good about the Indies?

• They can make a profit selling fewer records (Lower Recoupables)

• Artists may be treated better and they have more creative control

• They may still care about “art” and artist development (this has changed)

• The artists have greater bargaining power in their contracts

What’s bad about the Indies?

• They have less money

• They have weak promotion and distribution

• They are less stable

• Some Indies also have horrible contracts! 




Remeber Knowledge is Power. There are tens of thousands of people trying to do exactly what you're doing. Set yourself apart and read some books. Here is a list of some amazing books that will do just that. If put into effect with your talent and new business mindset, you will be unstoppable. 


Music Business Handbook and Career Guide, David Baskerville, Ph.D., 7th Edition,

2001, SAGE Publications, ISBN# 0-7619-1667-9 and 8th  ed., 2006 ISBN 1-4129-0438-2


Sampling in the Record Industry, Michael Ashburne, Esq., 1994, the Law Offices of

Michael Ashburne, 8300 Golf Links Road, Oakland, CA 94605. ISBN# 0-9638219-0-3


SONGWRITERS MARKET, Annual, Writers Digest Books, available at most bookstores,

e.g. Waldenbooks, Daltons, Borders, Barnes & Noble


MUSIC LAW - How to Run Your Band's Business, by Attorney Richard Stim, 1998,

Nolo Press, ISBN# 0-87337-438-X; and 2006, ISBN-13: 9781413305173


Musician's Business & Legal Guide, Edited & Compiled by Mark Halloran, Esq., 1991

(There are now more current editions), Prentice-Hall, ISBN# 0-13-605585-0


All You Need to Know About the Music Business, Donald S. Passman (Attorney),

1997, Simon & Schuster, ISBN# 0-684-83600-9 (Note: Newer Version Now Available)


Making it in the Music Business, Lee Wilson, Attorney at Law, 1999, Allworth Press,

ISBN# 1-58115-036-9


Stay Out of Court and In Business, Steven C. Brandt & Stafford Frey Copper,

Attorneys, 1997, Archipelago Publishing, ISBN# 1-888925-10-8


The Music Business (Explained in Plain English), David Naggar, Esq. & Jeffrey

Brandstetter, Esq., 1997, ISBN# 0-9648709-0-8 (Note: Newer Version Now Available)


The Craft and Business of SONGWRITING, John Braheny, 1995, Writers Digest

Books, ISBN# 0-89879-653-9


Confessions of a Record Producer, Moses Avalon,

2002, Backbeat Books, ISBN# 0-87930-660-2


The Art of Record Production, Richard James Burgess,

1997, Omnibus Press, ISBN# 0-7119-5552-2


A Songwriter's Guide — MUSIC PUBLISHING, Randy Poe, 1997, Writers Digest Books,

ISBN# 0-89879-754-3; and 2005, ISBN-13: 9781582973838


This Business of Music, Krasilovsky and Shemel, 8th  Edition, 2000, Billboard Books,

ISBN#:0-8230-7757-8; and 10th  ed., 2007, ISBN-13: 9780823077236


How to Make and Sell Your Own Recording, Diane Sward Rapaport, 5th  Edition, 1999,

Prentice Hall, ISBN# 0-13–923947-2


Start and Run Your Own Record Label, Daylle Deanna Schwartz, 1998, Billboard,

ISBN# 0-8230-7924-4; and 2003, ISBN-13: 9780823084333


Secrets of Negotiating a Record Contract, Moses Avalon, 2001, Backbeat Books,

ISBN# 0-87930-636-X


Networking in the Music Business, Dan Kimpel, 2000, Mix Books, 0-87288-727-8


How to get a Job in the Music and Recording Industry, Keith Hatschek, 2001, Berklee

Press, ISBN# 0-634-01868-x


The Copyright Permission and Libel Handbook, Lloyd J. Jassin & Steven C.

Schechter, 1998 Wiley, ISBN# 0-471-14654-4


A Music Business Primer,  Diane Rapaport, 2003, Prentice Hall, ISBN 0-13-034077-4


What They’ll Never Tell You About the Music Business,  Peter M. Thall, Billboard

Books, 2002 ISBN 0-8230-8439-6


Tim Sweeney’s Guide to Releasing Independent Records, Tim Sweeney & Mark

Geller, TSA Books, 1996 ISBN 0-9651316-2

“SECRETS” 2nd  ed.

Secrets of Negotiating a Record Contract, 2nd  Edition, Moses Avalon, 2002, Backbeat

Books, ISBN# 0-87930-660-2

“SECRETS” 3rd ed.

Secrets of Negotiating a Record Contract, 3rd  Edition, Moses Avalon, 2006, Backbeat

Books, ISBN# 0-87930-874-5


Million Dollar Mistakes, Moses Avalon, 2005, Backbeat Books,

ISBN-13: 9780879308278

Blogosphere #2: An Autobiography of a Rock And Roll Record


Brad is doing his first collection of blog posts about his record. He is going to be telling the story of how the record went from idea to action to product. Brad was an active musician for years but as life went on, life got in the way.

Love for art never goes away, however.

Shortly after we got 5/4 rolling he and I began work on his new Album. It is still in progress but it is moving quickly. This is his narrative. This is the beginning of his venture with his music rekindling and restarting, in many ways, right where it left off several years ago. 

This is

"An Autobiography of a Rock And Roll Record"

by Bradley Lenz

Once upon a time in a college town far away, for some people that is, I started performing with alternative Rock and Roll bands. I was lucky. There was plenty of venues and college kids that provided a scene that reflected what was going on all over. It meant music had a place to thrive. The fraternities could not get enough of the new Rock and Roll emanating from college radio. I played Bass in some bands. Guitars in other bands. I played cover tunes; other peoples music. And, I wrote and performed songs that I wrote. It was an experience. 

Ultimately you finish school, Grad school, Blah Blah Blah… not important for this story. Let us just say time passed. I stopped playing music. Then one day I saw Joe Smothers in a restaurant. He played for years with Doc Watson; and taught me to Travis Pick when I was sixteen. But I was many years away from the young man Joe met at the Mill House in Valdosta, Georgia. He asked me about my music. I said I did not play anymore. He looked upon me as if I was sick. We talked. I wondered If something was wrong. With me. 

That being said, who am I you might like to know. I am one of the five partners of the 5/4 Management Group. We have a recording studio and rehearsal space that we rent to musicians and any artist that can come up with at least $150 a month for work space, and a showcase venue for bands and visual artists. The Space is meant to incubate new art. We want everyone to be involved. 

Yet there is, of course, more then one reason why I'm telling the Autobiography of my record. I am a song writer and musician. After all these years of obscurity I admit I am looking forward to telling a little of that tale. Know that people create art for themselves first, without others, hoping to share something of our collective human experience. As for Fame… Who Knows… I never was…and the few famous people I have met, in the varying fields they represented, seemed perfectly normal, with the same shared aspirations as everyone. I think the consensus is, it is hard to be famous with everyone.

5/4 gave me the opportunity to work with a great studio and the sound engineers that really make the music happen. I wanted to be back around music. However, I was sitting in the stands at a Braves Baseball game when I thought; could I play my music again? I asked my brother Dan, “do you think I should play music again?” The response I got was unexpected. He said, “I think you should; What was that song…?” And he proceeded to sing varying lyrics to songs I wrote and performed, some of which, I had not thought of in nearly 20 years. I did not think anyone remembered; I was wrong.

A Rock and Roll record! The cover art of the albums we love are as familiar as pictures of old friends. Music is associated with these images that participate in the biographies of our lives, loves, hopes, and tragedies. And, as familiar as the sound of our music becomes few of us really know the story behind the records and music that define the margins of a time, or friendship. The purpose of this story is to tell the tale of one Rock and Roll record; My Rock and Roll record, from the beginning of the story to the end: For You. 

My hopes are that we all learn something from the process. I would like to learn more about myself and the people that play music with me. And my hope for you is that you learn something concerning the recording industry, music, aesthetics, and hopefully…Yourself Too. Documenting a process provides us a moment in time; with an open future. I am excited to watch this future unfold, and I hope you are too. Recording a record is about choices. We all hope to make good choices in life; as in art. This journey we will share.

So an older man looked at a picture in an old newspaper of a younger version of himself. And that is when I decided to see if I could still write and sing songs. That’s me, second from the left. 


The Blogosphere!

Welcome to the first of many 5/4 blog posts! 

I am Steven Jarvis, one of the studio engineers at 5/4 Music Space. 

I have been writing on music for quite awhile now. 5+ years maybe? 

The 5/4 team had the idea to start doing these blog posts as a way to further educate people on everything music. 5/4 is set up as a "Music Incubator". Essentially, it is a safe place for creatives to come and make art.

5/4 has one goal: to facilitate/develop musical art. 


Some of these posts will be technical in nature in order to further educate young artists. 

Some will be simple updates on day to day happenings here at 5/4.

Some will be about creative practices or maybe songwriting.

We plan to talk a little bit about EVERYTHING that we do here.

With this in mind, we begin our new blog! 


Blogosphere #1: Reviewing the AKG Perception 220 Condenser Mic

I chose this mic as the first topic simply because it was the first condenser mic that I ever owned. It has a special place in my heart because I bought this microphone before I even knew that I wanted to pursue audio production.



The Perception 220 is a fixed cardioid, large diaphragm FET condenser mic. It's frequency response ranges from 20-20,000Hz and is fairly flat. In theory, it could be a perfect vox microphone in a studio setting because of how flat the response is. 

Here is a picture of the graphed response:


It is also a nice overhead. 
I've only used it as a single overhead, but a matching pair would sound delicious because of where the peak sits on the high frequencies(somewhere between 10 and 11k).
It's got a high pass filter or bass rolloff switch that will bring down the lows starting at about 300Hz. 
It also has a pad switch that brings it down -20dB which has led me to experiment with it in live situations. It works great as a live overhead, room mic, and Bass Cab mic.

It comes with a shock mount and a decent plastic carrying case. It is on sale for 150$ new. When I purchased it a few years back, I think it was closer to 250$. 150$ for this microphone is a steal.

My favorite thing about this mic is that I've yet to get tired of it. As it is a 150$ microphone, that is a big deal! 
I also love that it gives so much freedom to E.Q. in post! Equally captured frequencies are incredibly helpful when doing a large mix! 
Where the highs are smoothly accented in the response, it is also able to capture very natural sounds. I love using it to record live acoustic sessions. Great for catching the dynamic of the room.
This mic was recommended to me by a friend and fellow sound engineer years ago. I bought it as my first condenser. It still finds it's way into most of my studio projects somehow or another.

I highly recommend it to anyone looking for a new mic to add to their collection but especially to those who are new to the world of pro audio and in need of a first decent and decently priced condenser mic. It is all around trust worthy.

- Price Point; It will pay for itself in one session.
- Flat Frequency Response makes it very versatile.
- Very smooth sound. 
- Great overhead.
- Great Vocal mic(in a studio setting).
- Great room mic.

- DO NOT BOTHER trying to mic guitar cabs. It hasn't a great response to higher SPL's.
- A little sensitive. Even for a condenser.
- The High Pass filter cuts too much out and starts to affect the warmth of the sound.
- Figuring out the proper time to use the pad versus volume or gain cuts can be tricky. There is something about it's character that causes this. It could just be me, though.